This week, the meeting’s presentation focused on blockchain scalability while the discussion covered Siraj Raval’s talk on decentralized artificial intelligence.
Presentation — Blockchain Scalability
(Justin Zipkin and Ethan Tuckman)
What does blockchain scalability mean?
- In our case, blockchain scalability refers to the ability to increase the amount of transactions per second a blockchain based platform such as Bitcoin or Ethereum can handle.
Bitcoin Scalability Takeaways
- Bitcoin and Ethereum transactions currently take a long time because the network is clogged and several solutions are being proposed
- Segregated Witness (SegWit) aims to remove the signatures from Bitcoin transactions before processing and reincorporate them afterwards, doubling transaction processing speed
- Many exchanges have not activated SegWit and only 10% of Bitcoin transactions use it
- SegWit2x aims to increase the block size from 1MB to 2MB, causing the blockchain to grow 8 times as fast
- The Lightning Network will make transactions faster and less expensive by allowing users to open channels with each other called sidechains.
- Sidechains will allow transactions to occur off of the main blockchain before being added to the main blockchain once the channel is closed
Ethereum Scalability Takeaways
- Ethereum is in the process of switching from a Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS) and developers are working on several protocols
- Casper the Friendly Finality Gadget (FFG) is a protocol that currently incorporates PoS every 50 blocks, with that number decreasing with time
- Sharding is a protocol that breaks up the data from transactions into multiple pieces or “shards”, spreading out the responsibility for transactions
- Plasma is a protocol that allows scaling through off-chain transactions
Discussion — AI Meets Blockchain
(Ali Ahmed and Briana Feng)
- A short talk about decentralized artificial intelligence by Siraj Raval, a Columbia University educated Software Engineer and huge AI proponent
Key Discussion Points
- It’s concerning that AI put on the blockchain could not be stopped unless we had control of 51% of the processing power
- Why does everything need to be decentralized? Are AI and blockchain technologies developed enough to be brought together?
- Why do we need Uber? Safety? Driver incentive?
- If centralized companies like Uber didn’t exist, who would develop the platform and what would their incentive be?
Check back next week to find out more about what WCT is talking about!